Why do people believe conspiracies?

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
History and the governments role to be specific. I mean when one powerful family, the Rockefellers, has control of all of what is put into "scholastic" books that end up in our schools, and what is put into our media, its sad that anything else that veers away from those books is considered "conspiracy." What BS. And the fairness act that Reagan repealed in the 80's, the media is now just one giant propaganda machine. News outlets can make any claims they want because they are considered to be corporations. When was the last time you saw the NDAA brought up on NBC news with Brian Williams?

I would agree with what everyone else is saying. What, specifically, are you talking about? The only thing I've experienced that sounds similar to what you are saying is that in high school and grade school many concepts are simplified. If you choose to study those topics more in-depth, however, you see that thats all there is. No lies, just that things have been simplified. Scholastic books are written by researchers and prominent figures in the field who are generally loyal to their study. By generally loyal, I mean I don't think they would purposely write lies, I don't think their colleagues would like it if important truths that have been proven were being contradicted. So please, provide a specific example.
 

TheCorruptOnes

New Member
I would agree with what everyone else is saying. What, specifically, are you talking about? The only thing I've experienced that sounds similar to what you are saying is that in high school and grade school many concepts are simplified. If you choose to study those topics more in-depth, however, you see that thats all there is. No lies, just that things have been simplified. Scholastic books are written by researchers and prominent figures in the field who are generally loyal to their study. By generally loyal, I mean I don't think they would purposely write lies, I don't think their colleagues would like it if important truths that have been proven were being contradicted. So please, provide a specific example.

Ok here's on to start. What about the fact that the so called "founders" of the United States were actually freemasons and were sent here on a quest to find more land that would make them more profitable?
 

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
Ok here's on to start. What about the fact that the so called "founders" of the United States were actually freemasons and were sent here on a quest to find more land that would make them more profitable?

The voyage that discovered the America's for the rest of Europe was sent by the Spanish in order to find gold, land, and other riches. The founding fathers were very brilliant politicians, thinkers and, as far as I know, freemasons, but why is that such a bad thing?
 

Chew

Senior Member.
Ok here's on to start. What about the fact that the so called "founders" of the United States were actually freemasons and were sent here on a quest to find more land that would make them more profitable?

"sent here"? The vast majority of them were born here.
 

Clock

Senior Member.
I think there is a type of sickness, that is called Mad World desease, where you are considered to be "extremely paranoid about everything, and be suspicious about everything"
 

Clock

Senior Member.
By the way... what is so wrong with being a freemason? Would it have made a difference if they were christian? And why are they not founders of the country? They were on a route to find asia, not "new land" that came after they found land. It's Grade 9 history. They wanted to go to Asia to get the resources that they were selling.
 
J

Joe

Guest
I think there is a type of sickness, that is called Mad World desease, where you are considered to be "extremely paranoid about everything, and be suspicious about everything"
well with all the states legalizing pot expect it to get worse .
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
But everyone sees contrail covered skies from time to time, very few of them go on to believe in scientifically wrong conspiracy theories about those contrail covered skies. What's are the factors that separate the conspiracy theorists from regular folk?

Mental illness?

Education?

A paranoid world view?

Immaturity?
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I think people believe in conspiracies because they feel manipulation by people who control the information and how it is presented; they are very capable and willing to deceive . . . we are all easy marks for sophisticated marketing programs which can and may contain disinformation, misinformation and outright lies . . . so who to believe? . . . the mainstream or a few well meaning or nut cases on the Internet . . .
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Another issue regarding conspiracies is scientists and academically trained individuals seldom engage in discussions regarding these controversial issues . . . also, when they do engage they are not prepared to communicate with unsophisticated people (non experts) who are often the audience. So they may be saying the right thing but their message does not resonate and is often lost in the noise . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another issue regarding conspiracies is scientists and academically trained individuals seldom engage in discussions regarding these controversial issues . . . also, when they do engage they are not prepared to communicate with unsophisticated people (non experts) who are often the audience. So they may be saying the right thing but their message does not resonate and is often lost in the noise . . .

I would not say that's true, but perhaps you could give an example? 9/11, covert geoengineering, and Chemtrails have had a lot of scientists talk about them, including talking with unsophisticated people. The problem seem more that people don't trust scientists, so they don't listen.

Here's a couple of top geoengineering researchers attempting to communicate to some lay people the reality behind geoengineering and chemtrails. They are both very willing and able to communicate, both very polite, but they are both almost entirely ignored.


 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I would not say that's true, but perhaps you could give an example? 9/11, covert geoengineering, and Chemtrails have had a lot of scientists talk about them, including talking with unsophisticated people. The problem seem more that people don't trust scientists, so they don't listen.

Here's a couple of top geoengineering researchers attempting to communicate to some lay people the reality behind geoengineering and chemtrails. They are both very willing and able to communicate, both very polite, but they are both almost entirely ignored.


Mick,

My point is illustrated by the above as well . . . these were attempts made late in the game after most of the inertia had already been abdicated to the pseudo-science of the Chemtrail conspiracy movement . . . I am not criticizing their attempts . . . at least they took the time and energy to engage . . . once Pandora's Box lid was lifted it takes a well organized and sophisticated campaign to close the lid again . . . you are the only group to my knowledge to make a significant attempt to offer an alternative, well researched, outreach to the Chemtrail movement . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Plenty of people have been talking to the chemtrail folk, since the very beginning. The air force and the EPA put out their fact sheets around 2000. NASA contrail scientist Patrick Minnis has spend a considerable amount of time politely interacting with the chemtrailers in the early 2000s. They have been plenty of very reasonable explanations out there - just nobody listening.

Consider that most chemtrail entusiasts still think that contrails cannot persist more than a minute or two. What exactly do you think it would have taken for that misconception to be fixed? Do you really think that any effort on the part of scientists would have sufficed?
 

scombrid

Senior Member.
once Pandora's Box lid was lifted it takes a well organized and sophisticated campaign to close the lid again . . .

But a well organized and sophisticated campaign would just be taken as evidence of a cover-up of the real truth (TM).
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
But a well organized and sophisticated campaign would just be taken as evidence of a cover-up of the real truth (TM).
A sophisticated campaign would recognize that issue and seek to disarm it . . . how? . . . by agreeing there are issues that are difficult to explain and seeking to understand the fears of the believers . . .
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Plenty of people have been talking to the chemtrail folk, since the very beginning. The air force and the EPA put out their fact sheets around 2000. NASA contrail scientist Patrick Minnis has spend a considerable amount of time politely interacting with the chemtrailers in the early 2000s. They have been plenty of very reasonable explanations out there - just nobody listening.

Consider that most chemtrail entusiasts still think that contrails cannot persist more than a minute or two. What exactly do you think it would have taken for that misconception to be fixed? Do you really think that any effort on the part of scientists would have sufficed?
Good questions . . .

The fact sheets are just that . . . lifeless press releases . . . I was not around in the early 2000s when Dr Minnis was possibly more involved . . . did he ever attend a conference for chemtrails like you did?

How to overcome the persistence issue . . . a campaign to advertise the increase in air traffic, the altitudes, engine efficiencies, etc . . . a study which admits the increase of xxx% over previous decades in visible persistent contrails and contrail induced cirrus . . . by the FAA, DoE, NOAA, and NASA . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Good questions . . .

The fact sheets are just that . . . lifeless press releases . . . I was not around in the early 2000s when Dr Minnis was possibly more involved . . . did he ever attend a conference for chemtrails like you did?

I don't think there were any conferences. As far I know this was the first one. He was active online.

How to overcome the persistence issue . . . a campaign to advertise the increase in air traffic, the altitudes, engine efficiencies, etc . . . a study which admits the increase of xxx% over previous decades in visible persistent contrails and contrail induced cirrus . . . by the FAA, DoE, NOAA, and NASA . . .

The thing is though, it's not that big a deal. Why would they spend the money? The information is already out there. 99.9% of the population does not care, 0.099% of the population cares, but are largely immune to reason. Any large campaign would just look suspicious.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I don't think there were any conferences. As far I know this was the first one. He was active online.



The thing is though, it's not that big a deal. Why would they spend the money? The information is already out there. 99.9% of the population does not care, 0.099% of the population cares, but are largely immune to reason. Any large campaign would just look suspicious.
If that is true, why are you so engaged in the process to disarm the movement? Seems there is a disconnect between your energy devoted to the endeavor and as you have pointed out the insignificance of the conspiracy theorists . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
If that is true, why are you so engaged in the process to disarm the movement? Seems there is a disconnect between your energy devoted to the endeavor and as you have pointed out the insignificance of the conspiracy theorists . . .

It's a hobby, like model trains.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I do believe that debunking does some good. However I'm not unrealistic about my expectations. It helps some people get away from bunk, but it's not going to make the bunk go away. Conspiracy theories and magical thinking are a fixed part of human life.

Houdini spent years of his life debunking mediums and spiritualists. We still have them. But along the way he exposed a bunch of them, and helped many people see that it was bunk. That does not seem unreasonable.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I do believe that debunking does some good. However I'm not unrealistic about my expectations. It helps some people get away from bunk, but it's not going to make the bunk go away. Conspiracy theories and magical thinking are a fixed part of human life.

Houdini spent years of his life debunking mediums and spiritualists. We still have them. But along the way he exposed a bunch of them, and helped many people see that it was bunk. That does not seem unreasonable.
It was not my intention to imply what you are doing is unreasonable . . . where we disagree is in the existence of the mystical and unexplained . . . I have seen too much in my life to discount its existence and feel we don't have the vocabulary or concepts to dismiss it as being bunk . . .
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
The thing is though, it's not that big a deal. Why would they spend the money? The information is already out there. 99.9% of the population does not care, 0.099% of the population cares, but are largely immune to reason. Any large campaign would just look suspicious.


Here is a perfect example of that. A report on a local TV newscast highlight a very contrail-y day. The vast majority of people who saw the report moved on. The Believers disregard the information provided and simply cry foul and MSM indoctrination. A quick review of the comments exposes that mentality. (Great time lapse though)

 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Here is a perfect example of that. A report on a local TV newscast highlight a very contrail-y day. The vast majority of people who saw the report moved on. The Believers disregard the information provided and simply cry foul and MSM indoctrination. A quick review of the comments exposes that mentality. (Great time lapse though)


Once an idea is planted and reinforced the amount of energy to rebut such a belief is very difficult . . . reminds me of the difficulty and years of evidence needed to prove to physicians that microorganisms caused stillbirths and they spread the infection via their contaminated hands from patient to patient . . .
 

wake_up_bomb

New Member
Why do people believe conspiracies?


The reason is that lots of collusionhas definitely taken place, which could be described as 'conspiracy'.I prefer to describe this as 'collusion', 'cronyism' and'corruption'. Absolutely vast amounts of corruption have taken placethat are part of the historical record. But because we live in aculture in which the prevailing and dominant sources of informationtend to either deflect attention away from this, spin it, or explainit away with disingenuous or specious reasoning, then it's quite easyto feel as if you live in a completely rotten culture. Certainly thatis how I feel about my country, justifiably so.


Some people that feel this way thenperhaps go too far and start to dissect issues that are really, atbest, very difficult to prove. I think the feelings behind it are notnarcissism, as has been suggested here, but actually a good natureddesire to see the world operate in a more equitable and less brutalfashion. It's really not necessary to discuss these issues one way oranother because there is absolutely tonnes of completely provablecorruption that is part of the public record and cannot possibly bedenied.


However, it continues to be very easyto pull the wool over the eyes of the vast majority of people becausevery few people know their own history, and are thus doomed to allowthe establishment to repeat its nefarious conduct over and overagain, while turning up once every few years and voting for mainlineRepublicans / Democrats whatever happens. This could possiblyincrease socially concerned individuals sense of alienation from thecentral culture, and perhaps make them more prone to look into thingswhich don't really stand up to scrutiny.


Of course, we all have our own idea ofwhat the issues which constitue 'conspiracy theories' are, as everyindividual's sense of discernment and perception varies greatly. Some people consider Noam Chomsky to be a conspiracy theorist:

http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2007/09/tendentious-whi.html

Others probably believe that his work is slightly more valuable than that of the author there, Oliver Kamm.

Ultimately most people don't want to look at evidence and attempt to understand the way the world works, they instead prefer to gain a vague impression of it, concretise it, and then cry and kick and scream when anyone presents any information that conflicts with it, regardless of whether this information is factually accurate. This is equally true of conspiracy theorists, anti-conspiracy theorists, and people who have no interests in them one way or another.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
People have questions. If people have questions that they feel aren't being answered truthfully they turn else where, and that's where sites like infowars come in. Kind of like a safety net to catch disillusioned people. There are institutions set up like the Tavistock Institute formerly known as Wellington House, who specialize in managing public opinion as much as possible by either putting out disinformation about a subject or creating new groups and make them appear as grass-root.

The term conspiracy theorist has become derogatory and used against anyone who has questions that are not popular with normal people. I often comments like 'I'm not a conspiracy theorist but how did such and such happen'. It's a shame critical thinking is discouraged in our society and people feel ashamed to ask questions about an event in fear of being laughed at, then they end up on one of the mainstream 'conspiracy' sites and follow a path that doesn't really end up making you more enlightened than you started off to begin with. It's a good thing to doubt and question but you need to get to the source material and learn yourself and become a proper researcher, it's become too easy now to watch a video or documentary and accept it as fact because you already have a disdain for the establishment.

It's ridiculous that people laugh at the term conspiracy and at the same time ingenious because it stops normal people from being inquisitive into corruption and you are able to keep the status quo.
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
People have questions. If people have questions that they feel aren't being answered truthfully they turn else where, and that's where sites like infowars come in. Kind of like a safety net to catch disillusioned people. There are institutions set up like the Tavistock Institute formerly known as Wellington House, who specialize in managing public opinion as much as possible by either putting out disinformation about a subject or creating new groups and make them appear as grass-root.

The term conspiracy theorist has become derogatory and used against anyone who has questions that are not popular with normal people. I often comments like 'I'm not a conspiracy theorist but how did such and such happen'. It's a shame critical thinking is discouraged in our society and people feel ashamed to ask questions about an event in fear of being laughed at, then they end up on one of the mainstream 'conspiracy' sites and follow a path that doesn't really end up making you more enlightened than you started off to begin with. It's a good thing to doubt and question but you need to get to the source material and learn yourself and become a proper researcher, it's become too easy now to watch a video or documentary and accept it as fact because you already have a disdain for the establishment.

It's ridiculous that people laugh at the term conspiracy and at the same time ingenious because it stops normal people from being inquisitive into corruption and you are able to keep the status quo.

Almost all the conspiracy advocates I've debated recently demonstrate massive bias.I don't agree that 'conspiracy theorist' is widely used to deride those who question a status quo,and think the idea it does arises mainly from the siege mentality that in turn arises from the group reinforcement that goes with their territory.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Almost all the conspiracy advocates I've debated recently demonstrate massive bias.I don't agree that 'conspiracy theorist' is widely used to deride those who question a status quo,and think the idea it does arises mainly from the siege mentality that in turn arises from the group reinforcement that goes with their territory.
Anyone who deviates from the status quo in any environment will be singled out for criticism or for reprogramming . . . simply human nature . . . the degree and energy with which they resist others attempts to bring them in line with the group mindthink will be considered bias by the majority . . .
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
Just re-started Among the Truthers by Jonathan Kay. He posits that a growing distrust of government has contributed to a situation where most alternate explanations are considered to be equally plausible.

I love a good metaphor. He goes on to say:




...people come to their paranoias for all sorts of complicated reasons. Some of the figures profiled within this book are Marxists. Others are anti-Semites, or radical libertarians, or religious fantasists. Some defy ideological categorization. But they are all bound together by one increasingly common trait: They have spun out of rationality's ever-weakening gravitational pull, and into mutually impenetrable Manichean fantasy universes of their own construction.
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
Jonathan Kay said:
They have spun out of rationality's ever-weakening gravitational pull, and into mutually impenetrable Manichean fantasy universes of their own construction

I like metaphors too. This one seems apt.

 

MikeC

Closed Account
Anyone who deviates from the status quo in any environment will be singled out for criticism or for reprogramming . . . simply human nature . . . the degree and energy with which they resist others attempts to bring them in line with the group mindthink will be considered bias by the majority . . .

Th great thing about science is that it gives you a tool that other scientists are BOUND to recognise as correct and not disagree with - if you choose to use it.

It is telling, IMO, that whenever "bad science" throws up results and its shortcomings are pointed out (eg lab rat cancer "from GMO") the proponents of the bad science are unwilling to admit that they have simply failed to do the experiment properly.

Invariably there was no reason why they HAD to do the experiment improperly - they could have chosen to do it properly in the first instance without any bother at all.

One wonders why they did not do so.
 

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
Anyone who deviates from the status quo in any environment will be singled out for criticism or for reprogramming . . . simply human nature . . . the degree and energy with which they resist others attempts to bring them in line with the group mindthink will be considered bias by the majority . . .

I think Mike nailed it. People who think differently may (not always, though) be singled out at first, but science wins at the end of the day. My favorite example of this is Barbara McClintock, the woman who discovered transposons in the field of molecular genetics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_McClintock). Being a woman with a new idea, she was criticized heavily but in the end the evidence could not be denied. Stories like these, however, don't support every new idea that comes out from a the next rebel scientist. For every good idea there are a million bad ones. There is another good example of this in biology with Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her arsenate bacteria (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-09/scientist-strange-land). She got a lot of attention and it caused a lot of controversy, but the science just doesn't seem to hold up.
 
J

Joe

Guest
https://groups.google.com/d/topic/geoengineering/BrWl-OgdUrI/discussion
 
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